One of the stated reasons for the Shanghai Composite's 1.3% drop (and it would have been worse had the PPT not launched its infamous last minute buying blitz) was also the most amusing one: the stock market bubble is in danger of popping even more as a result of a housing bubble that is now raging at a pace not seen since the last Chinese housing bubble, and thus threatens to soak up even more cash from China's chronic gamblers-cum-speculators.
So just how high of a housing number did the NBS report that spooked stocks so much? Well, as Goldman summarizes, housing prices in the primary market increased 1.1% month-over-month after seasonal adjustment in April, higher than the growth rate in March. Out of 70 cities monitored by China’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), 63 saw housing prices increase from the previous month. On a year-over-year, population-weighted basis, housing prices in the 70 cities were up 6.9% (vs. 5.5% yoy in March). According to an alterantive set of calculations by MarketNews, aggregate home prices rose 12.4% Y/Y in April after rising 10.4% in March. Since both numbers are ridiculously high, we'll just leave them at that.
However, it was not the overall market bubble that is troubling, but that focused on the most desired, top - or Tier 1 - cities. Here, April price growth was 2.6% month-over-month after seasonal adjustment, vs. 3.0% in March.
But the real shocker was that on a year-over-year price growth in tier-1 cities continue to rise however, reaching 28.3% vs. 26.0% yoy in March. In fact it is so bad that Goldman, which tried to show the surge in the second chart below, clearly needs a bigger chart. Incidentally, total property sales in tier-1 cities accounted for around 5% of nationwide property sales in volume terms, and around 15% in value terms (2015 data).
It wasn't just the top: average property prices also increased in lower tier cities: In tier-2 cities (our own definition; 11 cities), property price growth was 1.3% month-over-month after seasonal adjustment, up from 1.0% in March. Price growth in tier-3 cities was 0.7% month-over-month after seasonal adjustment in April, higher than 0.5% in March, and month-over-month price growth in tier-4 cities was +0.4% month-over-month after seasonal adjustment, vs. +0.3% in March.
Today’s data is consistent with the Soufun property price data for April released earlier. The continued acceleration in prices contributed to the strong growth in investment and construction activities in the property sector.
This repeat housing bubble also explains why China is citing "authoritative figures" in People's Daily front page stories to warn the population that China is about to crack down on said bubble... just not quite yet.
And the stunning charts:
Home price inflation month over month
And year over year: to show the Tier 1 housing bubble, Goldman will need a bigger chart.